tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 20, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EDT
"the rachel maddow show" is up next. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, lawrence, thanks a lot and thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. on november 1, 1983, then-president ronald reagan wrote in his diary, dear diary, day began with gop congressional leadership, last night the republican senate very irresponsiblebly refused to pass an increase in the debt ceiling, which is necessary if we are to borrow and keep the government running. as we gave them a rundown, we took up the budget and the necessary legislation. i sounded off and told them i'd veto every darn thing they sent down unless they gave us a clean debt ceiling bill. that ended the meeting. okay, first of all, ronald reagan would swear when he wrote in his diary, but he would not write out the full swear word, so as enough to scandalize his diary. what was actually in the diary,
what ronald reagan wrote in the diary was d , dash, dash, n. maybe it was something even worse than every darn thing. we'll never know because that's how he wrote it in his diary. while ronald reagan was president, the nation raised the debt ceiling 18 separate times, 18 times. this week a radio address from ronald reagan from 1987 from one of those times they were raising the debt ceiling. they circulated this reagan radio address to encourage today's republicans that even if they can't believe the tri-lateral commission democrat party all caps crazy communists that are saying it today, perhaps they could believe the saint, ronald reagan, when he explained how important it is to raise the debt ceiling.
>> congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. this blankmanship threatens those who rely on social security and veterans benefits. interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets and the federal deficit would soar. the united states has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. >> but, of course, ronald reagan was a noted communist long-haired hippy. it is important to recognize this is the state of debate right now in half of washington. in half of washington, the democrats are using ronald reagan from the '80s and everything else they can think of to try to convince republicans that defaulting on the national debt would be bad. think about that for a second. on the house side, the conversation could not be more
basic, economy blow up, bad thing, america sad if economy blow up. economy blow up, no. why -- while that is the level of discussion in one-half of washington, would you like to explode the economy? think twice. that's where we're at with one-half of washington, but the other half of washington is sort of pretending that that's not really happening at all in the house. the other half of washington had the president today going before the white house press corp. to praise a conservative plan agreed to by a bipartisan small group of senators with three parts spending cuts to one part revenue increases, but closing loop holes and controls costs that the president and the gang of six senators and apparently a lot of other senators besides were very excited today on their half of washington. very excited today in their half about their very conservative, very bipartisan deficit reduction plan that they think they can all sign on to as a pass towards raising the debt ceiling. i'm sure that was an edified
discussion for their big senate plan, which the president likes, but it is not the president and the senate who need to get together to decide this thing. it's the president and the senate and the drunk kids at the other end of the building who are setting their barbies on fire and cooking metal in the microwave until it explodes. watch it burn! watch it burn! honestly, time for a reality check here. house republicans are not trying to drive a hard bargain and get the best deal possible. house republicans do not want to raise the debt ceiling. for anything. they would please not like to raise the debt ceiling. they would like to go into default, thank you very much. house republicans have been actively making that argument for weeks now that hitting the debt ceiling, oh, that won't hurt a bit, who cares? republican congressman mo brooks of alabama told the washington
post this week that on the contrary, all credit rating should be improved by not raising the debt ceiling, which is like saying you're looking forward to how that sledge hammer is going to improve your dental work. another congressman says after a catastrophic default and financial crisis the government can just move some money around to fix things for awhile. "that wouldn't work for just a few days, that would work for a few years" adding it's an arrogant attitude to take. republican congressman tim wahlberg of michigan in agreement, he told the washington post it's time to "hold the line," but which he means we should default, just go for it. republican allen west of florida says president obama is fearmongering on the debt ceiling that it's nothing to be afraid of.
republicans are not alone on this. >> this is a misnomer that i believe the president and the treasury secretary have been trying to pass aufz on the american people, and it's this, that if congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by $2.2 trillion, that somehow the united states will go into default and we will lose the full faith and credit of the united states. that is simply not true. >> you would think that a responsible leader in this country would make sure that we encourage bondholders, that we encourage people who held our debt. you don't have to worry about anything. the only thing you guys have to fear is fear itself, because we're going to stand good for it. >> sure we're going to default, but we're going to stand good for it, whatever that means. everybody should feel better. all of the beltway gang of six excitement today about this plan in the senate is proceeding as if congress all understands that
there's a reason to act and act quickly, that the country will start to default on its debt and shut down on august 2, that the deadline is real and baring down on us. there's the assumption today, but you cannot take it for granted today that congress, in fact, understands this. over in the house, you want to know what they think the august 2 deadline is? do you want to know where they suspect this whole august 2 deadline thing might have come from? here's where they think it came from. >> i can't help be a little cynical here, because, you know, we found out the president has a big birthday bash scheduled for august 3, celebrities flying in from all over, and low and behold, august 2 is the deadline for getting something done so that he can have this massive -- maybe the biggest fundraising dinner in history for a birthday celebration. >> see, the president made up this fake deadline of august 2, put it on the calendar for his
birthday. to please celebrities who would be coming to his birthday party. the problem we have here now as ronald reagan might say, is the problem of irresistible force about to meet an immovable object. it's the crazy, the voices in the heads of republicans in the house telling them default, that sounds like de-fun, let's do it. it's the let's burn the whole thing down chaos conference. it's the denialist conspiracy theory nonsense among house republicans that means they are not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling no matter what the deal is. it's that irresistible force meeting the immovable object the actual debt ceiling. that is a real deadline that is upon us. >> we're in the 11th hour, and we don't have a lot more time left. we don't have any more time to engage in symbolic gestures,
don't have any more time to posture, it's time to get down to the business of solving this problem. >> president obama also said today, and i think this was an important point actually. he said that so far throughout these negotiations, we have essentially been given a pass by the financial markets, but, he said, that could fall apart really quickly when it does start so fall apart. listen to the president make that case here. >> so far, at least, the markets have shown confidence that leadership here in washington are not going to send the economy over a cliff, but if we continue to go through a lot of political posturing, if both sides continue to be dug in, if we don't have a basic spirit of cooperation that allows us to rise above immediate election year politics and actually solve problems, then i think markets here, the american people, and
the international community are going to start reacting adversely fairly quickly. >> the president said there is true, and he believes it, and time is short and the river's rising, and when the markets recognize this is going to turn and turn quickly and badly against the united states of america in a relatively irreversible way, then what do you do with a problem like john boehner? last night on this show, john stanton said that the number of republicans in the house who have decided it does not matter if we default, the number of denialists that this is a big deal is rising now, that house republicans lost a republican economist out of a meeting when he said a default would be a bad thing. we're now really facing catastrophe without facing the debt ceiling and house republicans seem to be getting less likely to do it, not more likely no matter what happy talk is happening in the senate.
so what happens now? president obama has to be thinking what president clinton rather forcibly put into words today. "he would invoke the constitutional option without hesitation and force the courts to stop me in order to prevent a default should congress and president fail to achieve agreement before the august 2 deadline." reported today at national memo. happy talk coming out of washington and gangs of senators all getting along with the president now is nice, it's happy talk, but being realistic about this means getting real about the craziness in washington right now too, the denialists. faced with that, can the president lift the debt ceiling on his own if that's what it will take to save the country from irreversible catastrophe?
joining us now, john balkin, he writes the very well-read blog, "balkinazation." thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> could the president legally, constitutionally, do this on his own if congress won't do it? >> no, he can't do it until there's an absolute dire emergency. he has to act with authorization, but sometimes if catastrophe is occurring and emergency is occurring, no time to act, the president has to act to save the country, in that case, he draws upon his emergency power, but we don't want a situation the president does this before there's no other alternative. that's the argument george w. bush made. we have to wait until the very last minute. >> in terms of the, i guess, the trigger for invoking emergency powers here, that's the sort of thing where real harm would already have to be done to the country, already have to be in
default and experiencing repercussions. >> i suspect if that were to happen, you would start to see the bond markets go crazy, dow start to plunge and at that point congress would realize they have brought on a terrible, terrible event, then you'd get a debt ceiling passed very quickly. so what you're really asking me is suppose if this happens, the markets start to melt down, the dow plunges like an as troid hurdling towards earth, in that case, yes, the president must act to save the republic. >> in terms of what means he might legally go forward, we know section four of the 14th amendment says the part of the united states shall not be questioned. is that the constitutional basis in which he'd make the claim to move forward? >> well, what he would probably argue at that point is he has to represent section four and he has to make sure the authority of the debt is not questioned, but he has two conflicting laws,
one law is the law that appropriates money to be spent. that law was ratified in april, you may remember, then you have the debt ceiling law, and since he can't honor both laws simultaneously, he has to choose between them, so he would, at that point, honor the appropriations bill, he would instruct the secretary to do a number of different things, but in this case would he instruct the secretary to issue more debt, at that point, the secretary would. but even if he did that, there's no guarantee the markets would accept the new debt as legally valid. you have to believe that by floating more debt the markets would say this debt is just as good as the treasury bonds we've been buying all this time. if they did believe that, crisis solved, if they didn't believe that, then you're in a real problem. >> at the top of the introduction i mentioned what reagan said to his authority and debt ceiling limit.
while he was president, the debt ceiling was raised 18 different times. different congresses have fought over and over and over again. it has never before felt we were staring into the abyss as we are right now. when and where did congress enact a debt ceiling in the first place? >> the original debt ceiling goes back to 1917, congress was worried because we were going into world war i, we had never owed this much money except in the civil war, which leads to the creation of section four, so they did it as a safety measure. it turned out to be unnecessary, most countries don't have anything like it. there was also a rule that automatically raised the debt ceiling, so the rational thing would require congress to make decisions about spending when it appropriations money, but that's the reason we have it. >> law school professor, john balken, author of the blog "balkinazation." thank you for being here
tonight. >> thank you. >> election results from wisconsin are expected this hour, also the connection between the rupert murdoch scandal today and the mobster guy. remember him? and the interview on tonight's show is so exciting it made me and several segment producers -- made us break something in the office while we were preparing for the interview. while prepping tonight's interview, we broke some of the ceiling tiles outside my office door. i am very sorry, and i'll pay for it.
this is the mayor of london, his name is boris. he's in the conservative party. when questioned about it last year, here's what he had to say about the rupert murdoch phone hacking scandal. >> cooked up by labor party. >> cooked up by the labor party. phone hacking, made up by liberals. no such thing. where did mayor boris get his information? mayor boris got his information from john yates, the number two police officer in london. john yates, who it just so happens had to resign as the number two police officer in london just this week as did the number one police officer in london, the chief of scotland yard. that is just one of the ways the whole rupert murdoch scandal is getting awkward for politics and its most high-profile politicians, same goes for david
cameron, also the leader of the conservative party, and the man he picked to be his communications director was arrested earlier this month. today the conservative party admitted ties to another person arrested in the scandal, advised on political matters in the run-up to the general election by a man named neil wallis. wallis was also arrested last week. in terms of the scale of the criminal behavior at hand and how much the company brass knew about it, the lithe of people we know to have been paid off to keep the story from getting any bigger now includes 700,000 pounds paid to a soccer union boss. one of the conditions of the settlement -- of the payment was
confidenciality. also sienna miller got 100,000 pounds and andy gray was paid 20,000 pounds after the people's phones were hacked into, which is illegal. is it plausible that the brass at rupert murdoch inc, including rupert murdoch did not notice they kept having so make big payments to people to keep criminal activities by their companies out of court and out of the news? not noticing they kept having to write big checks to cover up the same illegal activity over and over again? is that plausible that nobody saw a pattern here? don't ask rupert murdoch himself. he's old and confused and wants you to think he doesn't remember.
>> were you informed about the findings by your son mr. murdoch or by rebekah brooks? >> i forget, but i expect it was my son. >> when were you informed about the payments made to gordon taylor and max clifford? >> nope. >> you were not informed? >> nope. >> did you or anyone else at your organization investigate this at the time? >> no. >> is that right? >> i forget the days. i never heard -- i didn't hear that. that is the first i've heard of that. i just don't remember. there's no excuse for breaking
the law at any time, sorry. >> a man named vincent "the chin" used to wander around greenwich village. which, in fact, he was. his scheme did not work. vinny the chin was convicted on racketeering and conspiracy charges in the 1990s, he ultimately died in prison. is rupert murdoch pulling a vinny the chin here? is he going to drop the whole fake limp or is rupert murdoch really that out of his depth, unaware of most things going on around him, unaware even of how much he's using his hands when he talks? meanwhile, rupert murdoch's son, james, only 38 years old, so he can not even try a i can't
understand anything defense. instead, just tried a donald rumsfeld impersonation. >> i'm not saying that somebody should have told me. to my knowledge, certain things were not known. >> there are system things we do not know. >> it's difficult to say the company should have been told something if it's not known that a thing was a known fact to be fold. >> for once we don't know, we don't know. >> joining us now, robert moore of itv news. appreciate your time tonight. >> good evening, hi. david cameron is coming home early from a trip to africa. broad terms, what do you think he's coming home to here? >> well, he's back in london tonight. he cut short an ill-judged trip to africa to a political firestorm. today was all about consuming james and rupert murdoch, but tomorrow there's an extraordinary special emergency session of the house of commons and absolutely the pressure is
going to be on david cameron, not in the least to explain his judgment in hiring andy coulson, former editor of "news of the world" as his spokesman. so the scandal is -- no one is talking at this stage of possible resignation, but they are raising questions about david cameron's judgment, and in the long term that raises questions about cameron's political future. >> e-mails released today appearing to show his chief of staff specifically telling scotland yard not to brief the prime minister on the phone hacking investigation. what do you make of that? it read to me as an early sign of the prime minister's chief of staff being blamed here. >> that's the case. cameron's showing the prime minister is being kept away from a potential conflict of interest, but if what we're looking at tonight not only cameron's advisor who's now been
arrested, whosen to be his spokesman, but the advisor's advisor was also kind of close to "news of the world," close to rupert murdoch and news international, so it just puts the scandal ever closer into the political arena. and think about this, not only has britain lost faith in their journalists, but they've lost faith in politicians and now in the police as well. a point to make is, growing up as a kid in london, you look at scotland yard and stunned by their investigate zeal and incorruptibility, hold on a second, they were taking payments from journalists. >> speaking of fragility, rupert murdoch himself is 80 years old. today he was doddering. much of the question today, somebody tried to pie him in the face, he looked like a mugging victim.
how plausible is his claim today he's really not in charge anymore? >> well, i think it's inherently a difficult defense because he might say he can't remember, but that raises questions about his role of chief executive of a prominent, multi-billion dollar business, one of the predatory media companies in the world, so he can defend himself against sort of charges that he knew about criminal activity from british journalists, but that only puts him into deeper water in terms of chief executive and chairman of news corp., so it's a very difficult defense. >> robert, let me ask you about something that's broken late tonight. abc news is reporting the u.s. justice department is getting ready to launch a preliminary investigation into whether news corp. engaged in a systemic conspiracy to pay bribes to british police. if so, they'd discover if news corp. violated the foreign practices act.
how serious does that strike you as a development and for the possibility of this scandal crossing the pond in a bigger way than it has thus far? >> it's a real danger. there's been an fbi probe for a couple of days, they are looking primarily of whether the phones of 9/11 victims were hacked illegally. that would be a catastrophe for rupert murdoch if that was proven true, but you're right, there's also vulnerable to if he's guilty of corruption in the sense of did he know and any sense of his journalists paying british policemen, obviously, that would be an illegal action and has implication, legal implications here in the united states. he's buffeted on both sides of the atlantic by reputation and legal issues, it's growing ever more dangerous for him as it is as well for david cameron, prime minister he recently was supporting for the roll of the leader of britain. >> robert moore, good to have
your insight on this, thank you for joining us. >> it's a pleasure, thanks. michele bachmann campaign staffers today roughed up an abc news reporter physically. brian ross of abc news is reported to be okay, but the incident doesn't report well on bachmann's campaign or frankly on ms. bachmann. one republican seems poised to steal political thunder to replace her as the threat to mitt romney on the right for the presidential nomination. hi, we're looking to save some money on our car insurance. great! at progressive, you can compare rates side by side, so you get the same coverage, often for less. wow! that is huge! [ disco playing ] and this is to remind you that you could save hundreds! yeah, that'll certainly stick with me. we'll take it. go, big money!
>> that very expensive round of office ceiling tile smashing hi jinxes, i swear was research for tonight's interview. you know the way restaurant critics do research by eating delicious food? that was not us just goofing around when we smashed the office tiles, which i swear i'll pay for, that was research. u.s. members of the national soccer team is next [ male announcer ] if it's true that sharks can sense even a drop of blood from a quarter of a mile away, which razor would you use? ♪
the highest rated soccer game on cable ever in the history of showing soccer on cable was this weekend's world cup final. the highest rated soccer game on network tv ever was the final the united states was in in 1999. both of those games, both of them were women's games. the countries around the world we tend to think of as soccer crazed, places like britain or brazil, they are, in fact, crazy about soccer, but they are crazy about men's soccer specifically, not as crazy about the women's game. the bbc, for example, had to be bullied to carry the match
>> in our country, where there's this whaling and gnashing over the men's game struggling to capture the national consciousness, beckham or not, let the record show the women's team is having no trouble getting people all over the country to leap out of their seats and hug strangers and scream usa, usa, usa until they are horse. joining us tonight, four members of the u.s. national soccer team, heather o'reilly, megan rapinoe, ali krieger, lori lindsay, thank you for coming here. sure you guys are beat and done talking about this, but i'm so excited, i'm going to die. do you guys know -- can you tell that you have returned to a country that is more soccer crazed than it was before you left, that you have changed the country in this way, can you tell? >> i think we didn't quite understand the gravity of it until we got back and there was hundreds of people lined up
outside our hotel when we first arrived. i think we got the general pulse of it, but we didn't even win the world cup and we're on "the rachel maddow show." it's unbelievable. >> you could also be a bigoted state legislator and get here easier, but this is a better way to do it. how many of you are expecting to stay in international competition? you're all sort of early on in your careers, right? you're all sticking with it? >> i'm in. >> all in? >> hope to keep playing, hope to have another run at a world cup. >> given that, i know you all play professionally, given that, how much do you -- how much is the world cup different than anything else and when do you start clicking over and focus on london next summer, olympics, how big of a sort of shadow does the world cup cast over your lives right now in soccer. >> well, as a soccer player, the world cup is the pinnacle of everything, it's every kid's dream to play in the world cup, but we have the olympics right around the corner, the women's
side bring their full senior teams to compete in the olympics. to win an olympic gold is huge as well. we're going to be back at them, we love it's just a year away, we're hungry already. >> i can imagine. i know the world cup next time around, 16 teams this time, next time, 24. how is it going to change things? >> i don't know. you have 16 teams who are vying for the same championship, and i think when you have, you know, 24, that adds to the pressure and adds to, you know, the highest stage and brings more teams in, more competition, and people willing to win a gold medal. i think it's going to make it more fun, more interesting, and yeah, more tough of a tournament. >> one of the reasons i was asking is because in the last time the u.s. was in the final, it was china, right? this year china didn't even qualify for the world cup and i felt like oh, right, what does the u.s. have to do in order to maintain world class
championship level sock sner like china, obviously, didn't do t i'm sure they are nice people, but looking ahead to the olympics, what do countries have to do in order to commit to compete. >> i think continue to develop the youth programs. i think showing that china didn't qualify for this world cup just shows the evolution of the game, more competition to qualify, so i think for us it's difficult. we were the last team to qualify. we actually lost to mexico, but made it to the final game though. i think that youth program development and just continue to get players to become better and compete at the highest level to compete against the other teams. >> is there a way to convert how psyched people are about you? you saw people at civic center at san francisco there losing their minds. we had 50 videos to show you from all over the country people like that. for all of your games.
is there a way to put that into youth programs to make the sport more successful in the long run? >> i think so. everyone wants a champion and loves a champion, and i think that the u.s. has witnessed that we're so close and we're right up there with the best in the world, and some might say we are the best in the world, but they know it's not a one-time thing, it takes investment. so many young girls saying now i want to play in the world cup finals because they got to watch us. we were inspired by the '99 generation of players, and now we are happy to say that we inspired a new generation of players. >> can i ask one very specific question about the difference between the turkey handshake and the wild turkey handshake? is that only a world cup era thing? does it get retired now? >> no, no. >> can you show us the turkey and wild turkey, explain the difference?
>> yeah, this is nbc, right? >> you can swear, we'll bleep it. no, you can't swear. >> turkey is your run of the mill good job, turkey, pat on the back. >> do a little fist. >> one person like this, one person like this. looks like a tom turkey. >> then we added our little spin on it. >> major kudos, you have to do something pretty amazing to get a wild crazy. >> for example. okay. that's the coolest thing that's ever happened to me in my life. [ laughter ] i will, thank you. i can die now. heather o'reilly, megan rapinoe, ali krieger, lori lindsay, thank you so much. congratulations. >> thank you for having us. >> thanks a lot.
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there's one former high ranking member of the george w. bush administration, in a lot of bush administration scandals, particularly on the iraq war who would probably already be lost to history, would probably already be long forgotten, were it not for the fact that people he used to work with in the bush administration have a tendency to insult him really enthusiastically. >> undersecretary of defense, douglas fife, who most of you probably know tommy franks said was stupidest blankety blank man in the world. he was. let me testify to that, he was. seldom in my life have i met a dumber man. >> that was lawrence wilkerson from the state department during the bush administration, agreeing with someone else's
insult and then adding his own insult to it. what happened to douglas fife after his term of insult magnet for bush administration officials. what happened to the guy for they decided to use the wmd argument. to the guy in charge of planning for that smooth, american occupation of iraq we have all been enjoying the past eight years. what kind of demand is there for a guy with with a resume like that? he's now advising rick perry on foreign policy! yes, in another even surer sign that governor rick perry of texas is going to run for president, it was leaked to the conservative website the national review online that governor perry met last week with a foreign policy team of advisers, including douglas f feifh. rick perry wants to be seen as someone learning foreign policy, also as being seen someone trying to learn foreign policy
from the bush administration. today is the day that major potential fund-raisers not yet committed to other presidential candidates met in austin, texas to see if they could rally around and support rick perry. the meeting convened by a former major bunld bundler for george w. bush. the governor didn't meet with them but would have dinner with them in austin. before that, he spoke at a bill signing in texas and made clear if he is running for national office, he is not running to be second on the ticket. >> i think you kind of go vice president, president, governor of texas, john nance garner had a pretty good handle on that. >> he says he had a good handle it. his handle was that the vice president see wasn't worth a bucket of whatever.
guys that appear as endorsers on a stadium rally, he says he is the anti-christ, the guy hitler was sent by god to hunt the jews, guy says started world war ii, says the japanese stock market is depressed. he said he wouldn't reject the endorsement of any of those folks. also appeared on video feed talking about his stadium prairie vent. he spoke to a group of more than 600 pastors in south carolina. why south carolina? right. as rick perry continues to gear up to announce he is running for president, his campaign has to see his only real competitors for the nomination as mitt romney on the left and michele bachmann on the right. with michele bachmann, the theory has to be wait long enough and wait for that campaign to implode.
today there were early warning signs as handlers physically attacked brian ross as he tried to ask her questions. but in terms of the rest of his competition, it has become clear this week that not only will mitt romney avoid iowa in terms of early campaign states, he's also apparently avoiding south carolina. so then where was rick perry today? south carolina. forgive me, not rick perry in the flesh, but the image of rick perry, beamed into south carolina, south carolina pastors. i continue to believe that governor rick perry of texas is the dark horse in the republican race and that he has a great shot at the nomination. here is what to watch for in coming days. saturday, iowa gets to decide who gets a slot in the straw poll, a sort of scammy fund-raising things that helps the iowa republican party and doesn't help the candidates. rick perry, of course, is not a declared candidate for president, but there are signs
polls closed just under an hour ago in wisconsin's first recall election this year. not a primary, the actual election. this is a republican challenger running against an incumbent democratic state senator, david hanson. senator hanson left the state of wisconsin in february along with his 13 fellow democrats, rather than give republicans the quorum needed to pass scott walker's union stripping legislation.
tonight, the democrat has won, successfully defeated this challenge with 65% of precincts reporting, dave hansen at 69% and the republican challenger at 31%. associated press calls this nor senator hansen moments ago. he is one of three wisconsin democrats facing recall. republicans wanted more than twice that many senators recalled, but three is what they got, and one of the three recall efforts against the democrats failed pretty badly tonight. tonight's election was expected to be indicative of what might happen next month when six wisconsin senate republicans are up for recall. we will keep you posted on wisconsin politics as we have all year, of course. happy to say senator dave hansen who just won his attempted recall election tonight is going to be a live guest on "the ed thanks for being with us.